Herby puy lentils, greens and smoked mackerel
A CRUNCHY SALAD THAT’S AS TASTY AS THE FISH ON TOP
300g dried puy lentils Juice of 2 lemons 2 tsp English mustard 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil A few sprigs each of mixed soft herbs (such as tarragon, basil, parsley, mint) 6 spring onions 3 small bulb of fennel 3 ripe avocados 200g baby spinach 450g smoked mackerel (or feta cheese, if preferred) 2 tsp sumac 1 tsp black sesame seeds
1 Bring a small pan of salted water to the boil and cook the puy lentils following the packet instructions, so they still hold their shape. Drain the cooked lentils, then leave to steam dry for a few mins.
2 While the lentils are cooking, you can make the dressing. Squeeze the lemon juice into a large serving bowl, and add the mustard and olive oil. Pick the leaves from the herbs, discard the stalks and finely chop. Stir into the dressing and season well. Trim and finely slice the spring onions and add to the bowl also.
3 Trim the fennel and shave as finely as possible, using either a potato peeler or a mandolin. Transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water to crisp up. Chop avocado into 1cm chunks.
4 When the lentils are ready and have cooled a little, toss them into the herby dressing, along with the avocado and spinach. Drain the fennel, spin it dry, and add to the bowl also. Break over the mackerel, sprinkle with sumac and sesame seeds, and serve straight away.
For a vegetarian version of this fragrant starter, replace the fish with crumbled feta